6.1 Cybersafety Policing

I don’t, and I haven’t, worried about cybersafety in any of the school settings, but I am a TOC and haven’t had to design a unit of study, so I will be writing from mostly a theoretical position.

In general, SD 67 has all the P.I.E.S. standards in place.

P – policy + practice = It’s in all the handbooks and mandated from the district.  Of course the interpretation of the practice vary from school to school and teacher to teacher, but in general their is a similar line of reasoning through all the schools

I — Infrastructure = Every classroom in the district is set up with computers against the wall facing inward.  A technology expert sets up the network, installs security software, and sets the restrictions for blocking websites.   The teacher does not have to make any infrastructure decisions.

E — Education = I have been TOCing during a cybersafety talk that is presented by the D.A.R.E program (RCMP early intervention) and other social services.  Some programs are dry PowerPoint, and others are over the top scare-you-straight performances.

S — Standards + Inspection = Up to the teachers in my district.  If they find digital abuse (plagiarism, cyberbullying, content searches) students usually get sent to administration.

In terms of digital technology uses for classroom activities I am not worried about cybersafety.  Enough measures are put in place that technology use in the classroom is tightly monitored.

However, personal device use can not be monitored by teachers and that is where any cybersafety problems will occur.  Phones, tablets, laptop usage in class is left to the individual schools and sometimes teachers.   The best practice for Elementary (k-5) and Middle School (6-8) is a no device at school rule.  I’ve been in schools that have a relaxed policy and schools that have a strict no device rule, and it is much easier to gain the students’ attention without the distraction of a digital screen.

In High School, the game changes, and teachers are left with their own classroom policy regarding personal screens, which I adopt as the TOC coming in.  Personally I have a difficult time with students on personal devices during class time.  I can’t multi-task, and eventhough I know the new millennial generation can, if drives me nuts to see them working, listening to music, texting, and on FaceBook, all at the same time.

But I do notice that there is a lot of social currency (mostly in High School) with “Likes” in FaceBook and “Followers” in Instagram or SnapChat.  And there is an entire social procedure for “liking” a post or picture — the reply has to be immediate or the sender might think you don’t like it.

One of the biggest issue in High School I can foresee is sexual content or contact shared on personal devices.   It’s difficult enough navigating through all the confusing emotions, identity, and physical changes.  Now add a cell phone to that and a pubescent mistake now is digitally saved for posterity.  I don’t envy this generation at all.

The best cybersafety presentation I saw, the presenter had “followed” a high school boy on FaceBook posing as a High School girl from another city.  They were messaging back and forth the entire week and they had made plans to “hook up”.  At the presentation he called out the boys name, who stood, then he revealed he was actually the girl on FaceBook.  After the laughter, he got his point across.  You can be anyone online.



1 comment so far ↓

  • #   aober on 10.23.16 at 10:01 am     Reply

    Hi Delano,

    Thank you for your detailed post. As I am usually working in the elementary grades, I didn’t consider the cybersafety concerns that you have highlighted from high school. Your final paragraph caused a very deep reflection for me. When I was growing up there was a very real concern for child abduction with stranger danger being taught constantly. It is concerning to me that child predators can be lurking online and that the same level of caution needs to be emphasized to even our youngest students. Thank you for this realization and the fantastic analogy of the grown man posing as a high school girl. While his approach was to be humourous and cause deeper thinking, it provoked a very real reaction in me.


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